In fourth grade I started playing Alto saxophone for my grade school band. Three years later I learned Baritone saxophone for my middle school band. In another year I joined a choir. By the end of high school I had been in six different bands, learned to play several instruments, joined two different choirs, taken multiple music theory class, and starred in more than a dozen musicals. My love for the arts started early in my life, my mother is an artist and my father is a musician and a head designer for a stationary company. The arts were alive in my household, jazz was usually played during dinners, my mom would paint a few times a week, and my dad seemed to always spend at least an hour a night fine tuning his classical guitar skills. Both of my parents read nightly and they taught me to read, as well as paint, play music, and appreciate the arts that surrounded me. Their training brought me to love the arts: painting, theater, and music, but reading books in particular was never appealing to me. Reading is not hard but it does not bring me the joy that I see others receiving from it. Is that reading was not prominent enough in my upbringing or was it rather that the society surrounding me did not influence me to read?
When I was younger I used to read more. I was infatuated about the Harry Potter book series, reading a few of the books multiple times. I had a very good relationship with my middle school librarian, he offered me the chance to read new books that he got into the library and I would later tell him what I thought of the books. But once I entered high school and my schedule became increasingly busy the amount of reading that I did for fun dropped off. The graphs of figure 1 by the National Center for Education Statistics displays that as children turn to young adults the amount that they read for fun decreases. My experience reflects what can be seen in figure 1, as a nine year old I read for fun on most days but when I turned thirteen and entered high school my daily reading turned to weekly and eventually as it is now, maybe once or so a month. The image also suggests that, as years have passed, people who are in my age group have increasingly read less.
Fig. 1. National Center for Education Statistics. The Nation s Report Card: Trends in Academic Progress 2012. 2013. Institute of Education Sciences U.S. Department of Education. 24 Nov. 2013
The graphs show the percentage of the general population who read for fun at ages 17, 13, and 9. It shows this across a plot of years from 1984 through 2012.
As a college student I can look back on my high school years and effortlessly think of all of the reading that I did. I can easily count on my fingers all of the books that I read for fun. Though I did read for school I did not do much outside of that, Poerschke states that; “most students reported that they read most often because it was...